Yellowstone bison population expected to be around 4,200
A Yellowstone National Park official says the number of bison in the park this year will likely be manageable after years of overpopulation.
Bison program coordinator Tim Reid tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle there will be about 4,200 bison once calving is finished.
He says that may be an ideal number because it’s the long-term population average and it seems to maintain what Reid calls the park’s “sociopolitical balance.”
The official population goal for the park’s bison population is 3,000, set in 2000 by the Interagency Bison Management Plan. Montana wildlife officials say they would need to study the matter further before agreeing to officially change that goal.
The bison population topped 5,500 two years ago, and more than 2,300 have since been killed by hunters or were shipped to slaughter after leaving the park.
This story has been updated to correct the total number of bison killed since 2016 to 2,300.